Autumn J. Bright, author
Toni Jones, Charleston’s rising radio personality, has everything going for her: beauty, talent, a promising career, and now a handsome, ambitious husband on the move. The perfect catch! But when his business fails, his dark side is revealed, leaving Toni to endure a doomed marriage plagued with years of domestic violence, deception, and even murder. But for Toni, giving up the only man she’s ever loved will be harder than she thinks. And in time, she’ll discover her unhealthy attachment to her husband will make her… Love Sick.
Early in Bright’s searing debut, set in Charleston, S.C., Toni Jones is stabbed by her spouse, Marvin, and taken to the hospital, where family members plead with her to leave him. Yet Toni slips back into familiar patterns, honoring her commitment to the man who was once a loving partner. As Toni’s career as a radio personality falters, Marvin begins victimizing a second woman. Flashbacks highlight the good times in Toni’s marriage as well as the early signs of Marvin’s abusive personality. Frequent movement between characters’ perspectives—including Marvin; Toni’s young daughter, Justine; and a well-conceived detective—detract somewhat from Toni’s personal development. Bright convincingly portrays the painful and conflicting emotions of a strong battered woman, but Marvin is reduced to a smarmy and predictable antagonist, and over-exposition drives home a message about escaping abuse with a force that flattens rather than lifts the narrative. (BookLife)